x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Amid protests, UN chief shuts Sri Lanka office

Ban Ki-moon faults government for failing to control demonstrators who demand the world body stop investigating human rights abuses during its three-decade civil war.

The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is closing the UN's office in Sri Lanka and temporarily recalling its head official there because of the government's handling of protests aimed at the world body. The UN associate spokesman Farhan Haq said Mr Ban found it "unacceptable" that Sri Lankan authorities failed to prevent the office from being disrupted by "unruly protests organised and led by a cabinet minister".

The UN's resident co-ordinator is being pulled back for "consultations" in New York until normal operations can be restored at the U.N. Development Program's regional center in Colombo. The country's housing minister led a hunger strike and protests earlier that trapped UN employees inside. The protests are over the UN refusal to stop investigating alleged human rights abuses during the country's civil war. * Associated Press